There is always talk of the importance of boot fit, but what about gaiter fit? Is it too loose? Too tight? Well, I am going to give a few tips, so sit back and take a deep breath.
Typically, the gaiter should be very snug once the boot itself is on the hoof correctly. I have seen other riders with snug gaiters, finger loose gaiters, and just plain ol' four fingers between the pastern and gaiter loose gaiters. I think each horse/rider team has a preference, as it should be. But what else can be done for a happy fit?
If your horse is anything like mine, there are those feathers that get in the way. What am I talking about? Check out the photo below.
Ahhh, much better.
So the question is, should I trim or even clip those hairy feathers away? The answer is: it depends. If the hair under the gaiters are getting matted, full of sweat and mud or you think the gaiter doesn't have the best fit in your opinion, then yes. Also, if you are concerned about underlying possible rubs it would be a good idea to nix the hair. Starting with a 'clean' slate will give you an idea about boot and gaiter fit. As a distance rider and a rider with very long hair, I personally feel for the horse and like to get all that hair out of the way. I know I would appreciate it.
Tight gaiters, loose gaiters, hairy pasterns or not, the importance is a comfy horse in well fitting EasyCare boots and a happy ride.